Monday, July 28, 2008

Margarito stalks, then punishes Cotto on way to title

Antonio Margarito was turned down when his promoters tried to book a fight with p4p champion Floyd Mayweather and after he knocked out the reigned champion Miguel Cotto Saturday night it appears for good reason. The “Tijuana Tornado” stalked the champion for 11 rounds before his corner threw in the towel bringing an end to one of the best title fights in recent memory. Cotto actually won 4 of first 5 rounds and clearly was out boxing Margarito throughout the fight but never hurt the challenger. If fight was scored only on shots that make the head go back and “ooohh” crowd shock value then Cotto would have had a unanimous decision, but those punches, although clean and seemingly hard, didn’t faze the tornado, who kept coming and was taking the fight to the champ, not the other way around. By round nine, Cotto’s face was a bloody mess and he was on his horse running away, as if he were counting the minutes until the fight was over. Boxing was a sport in dire straights and the end of last year but it has had three great fights (2 of them epic) to help stave off the charge of Mixed Martial Arts, at least for now. This one was worth the PPV cost and will be looked at for quite some time but I was a little disappointed in the anointed P4P champion as he seemed to be running away from the fight after the sixth round. He scored with flashy, well timed counter punches throughout the fight but in retrospect they had little effect and he was the one who’s face was a bloody mess. Boxing owes a debt of gratitude to Antonio Margarito for stopping Cotto before this one had a chance to go to the scorecards, because if it did it would have been a draw or Cotto decision and that would have put the sport right back where it started.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cavendish first Brit to cliam 3 stages of the TdF

Isle of Man sprinter Mark Cavendish made cycling history on Thursday when he became the first ever Briton to claim three stage wins in a single edition of the Tour de France.Cavendish dominated a bunch sprint at the end of the race's 167.5km 12th stage, finishing ahead of Frenchman Sébastien Chavanel and Belgian Gert Steegmans.
Are the Brits finally ready to compete on the world stage other than Olympic Sprint?

STAGE 12 RESULTS

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr|Team Columbia) 3:40:52
2 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra|Française des Jeux)
3 Gert Steegmans (Bel|Quick Step)
4 Erik Zabel (Ger|Team Milram)
5 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa|Rabobank)
6 Francesco Chicchi (Ita|Liquigas)
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor|Crédit Agricole)
8 Leonardo Duque (Col|Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone)
9 Julian Dean (NZl|Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30)
10 Heinrich Haussler (Ger|Gerolsteiner)
11 Robbie McEwen (Aus|Silence - Lotto)
12 Jimmy Casper (Fra|Agritubel)
13 Robert Hunter (RSA|Barloworld)
14 Martin Elmiger (Swi|AG2R La Mondiale)
15 Alessandro Ballan (Ita|Lampre)
16 Kim Kirchen (Lux|Team Columbia)
17 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr|Team Columbia)
18 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa|Bouygues Telecom)
19 Robert Förster (Ger|Gerolsteiner)
20 Cadel Evans (Aus|Silence - Lotto)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pacquiao steps into Mayweather’s spot as PPP Champion Calzaghe to fight Jones and take it back

In a truly dominating performance Manny Pacquiao destroyed reigning champion David Diaz with a ninth round knockout to claim his fourth title, the lightweight championship. Diaz simply had no answer for the speed and power of Pacquiao who transformed Diaz’s face into a bloody, swollen mess after a collision of heads in the second round opened up an enormous cut over left eye. Diaz did gain the respect of all in attendance and the boxing community at large with a gutsy performance. He continued to keep coming at Manny despite the fact that his vision had to be impaired and he eventually paid for it with a devastating left hook at 2:23 of the ninth round which ended the fight. So is PacMan the best pound-per-pound fighter in the world? Many think so, but some people in the UK beg to differ as they have been screaming the praises of Joe Calzaghe for quite some time, but PacMan has continued to defy the odds, including stepping up in weight class, and until he loses he gets our vote.

Joe Calzaghe will get an opportunity to make his case for the best Pound-Per-Pound fighter in the world on September 22, when he is scheduled to fight Roy Jones Jr. for JC’s 175-Pound Title. This would be a much larger challenge for JC a few years back, with Jones’ hand speed and ring generalship proving to be too much for puncher. However in 2008 Jones has lost a step (or two) and been counted out since then. JC also has a knack for beating over the hill American former champions, ie; Bernard Hopkins, and taking out another former icon may just be exactly what he needs to take is rightful place among the best in the business. In any case it will be a fight worth paying for and provide more ammunition for the sport in it’s war against obscurity and being surpassed by the phenomenon that is Mixed Martial Arts. It’s too early to make a pick but early research tells me that if JC is slower than we expect he will have a hard time finding Jones which could be a recipe for a long night of lunging and catching counter punches from a one-time former Heaveyweight and undisputed pound-per-pound champion of the world. Burt then again that title is what this fight is all about.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4 hour 48 minute marathon being called the best ever

The longest Wimbledon Final in history is already being called by many as ‘the greatest ever’ complete with all of the high drama, rain delays, and tension that anyone could ask. The match ended in a five set, tie-break, final with Rafael Nadal ending Roger Federer’s 41-match winning streak at the All-England Club, one shy of the record held by tennis legend Bjorn Borg. The final scoreboard read 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 with a potential break coming when rain delayed the beginning of the fifth set. After losing to straight sets including letting two ‘Championship Points’ slip through his fingers, the break gave the youngster an opportunity to gather himself, regain his composure, and stave off the champs momentum. The fifth set was one for the ages that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Hats off to the kid for rallying when he had to, showing some sack, and playing like a true veteran during the PK, Overtime, extra inning equivalent that is a final set tiebreaker. Is the king officially dead? Has the torch been passed? After five straight victories, Roger didn’t look like he was ready to let his crown go, but now that Rafa’ knows the path is there anything the former #1 can do about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Big Sis' finally takes lil' sis to school

Venus Williams beat her sister Serna 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon Final for her fifth Wimbledon title and seventh Grand Slam championship. This was Venus' first victory over her younger sibling in a Grand Slam final since the 2001 U.S. Open, and it evened their career record at 8-8. Venus came from 3-1 down in the first set to turn around the match, breaking Serena four times while dropping serve twice in a final that proved to be one of the most exciting displays of athletism in recent years. A swirling wind added an points to the level of difficulty making some of the power shots even more impressive. Venus broke to finish the match in 1 hour, 51 minutes, with Serena hitting a backhand wide on the second match point. The sisters embraced at the net, and Venus kept her celebrations in check as she twirled and waved to the Centre Court crowd. So big sis’ finally gave lil’ sis a spanking. It was good for them AND tennis to see them going at each other, dispelling rumors that their matches were setups from their father, or imaginary “pulled hamstrings” that keep them from competing against each other. This was more than a matchup between siblings; it was a contest between two of the hardest-hitting, most athletic players in the world at the top of their game. Can they keep this level up or have we seen the pinnacle of the “Williams’ Sisters Era”?